Haredi Minister Fuming over Reports of PM-Backed Budget Cuts

June 18, 2015  

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) expressed outrage Thursday morning at reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon were planning to cut funds promised to parties in coalition agreements. 

An estimated 8.2 billion shekels were promised to various parties who joined Netanyahu’s fourth government in April and May. 

According to reports, professionals will be examining the budget and recommending where funding can be cut, forcing each party to give up some of the funds promised in their coalition agreements with Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. 

“I don’t believe this. They know the coalition is only 61 (seats),” Litzman fumed, in what appears to be an implicit threat to torpedo the fledgling government.

But Litzman did note, in an interview with radio station Kol Chai, that the new government had many options, including asking Yisrael Beytenu or even unlikely political partners, such as Meretz and the Joint Arab List, to join. 

However, if Likud wants the haredi parties to remain in the government, Litzman asserted, “they must uphold the agreement, which they signed. The agreement was signed only a month or two ago. They know exactly what they signed for.”

Growing even angrier, Litzman stressed he would “absolutely not allow anyone to touch the child allowances or funds for haredi yeshiva academies. Absolutely not!”

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